Posted by Leslie Garcia on




Reprinted from Rockhound Gazette, December 2000


Also knows as "White Turquoise"or "Sacred Buffalo Turquoise", Dry Creek Turquoise has a characteristic white or very pale blue color with brown flecks in it almost like confetti. Because white turquoise is as rare as the white buffalo, it is sometimes referred to as Sacred Buffalo Turquoise. White turquoise was found in the Dry Creek Mine near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The mine is closed. This stone is very rare and collectible.

When discovered in the Dry Creek Mine (Note: not it's name today) in the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain, Nevada in 1993, they (the discoverers) were not sure what it was. Because of its hardness, it was decided to have it assayed. Their suspicious proved correct. It was, in fact, white turquoise. It was not until 1996, however, that it was finally made into jewelry.

Mesa Verde Traders has a complete line of Dry Creek Turquoise jewelry that features Dry Creek turquoise, a rare and beautiful form of turquoise that is used by Native American Navajo silversmiths to create exquisite jewelry

What Is Dry Creek Turquoise?

Dry Creek turquoise jewelry is a rare and beautiful type of turquoise that is used to make rings, necklaces and other forms of Native American jewelry. Dry Creek turquoise is easily recognized by its light, almost white, background color and its unique threaded patterns. It has a very light color, which is in contrast to other forms of turquoise that are usually a deep blue or green.

The color in Dry Creek turquoise is due to the high concentration of aluminum rather than copper in this stone. This also contributes to the hardness of this turquoise. It is considered to be more durable than some other forms of the stone.

Where Does Dry Creek Turquoise Come From?Dry Creek turquoise takes its name from the Dry Creek mine near Battle Mountain, Nevada. This mine was discovered in Austin, Nevada after the "copper rush" of the 1860s and 1870s. Once copper and gold mining ceased, the town of Battle Mountain lost much of its revenue, but for a time in the 1930s the Dry Creek mine did produce some of the world's most beautiful turquoise. Today, the mine is closed, meaning that all the Dry Creek turquoise that will ever be mined is now in existence. This makes Dry Creek turquoise rare and much sought-after by collectors. 

Are There Other Names for Dry Creek Turquoise?

"Dry Creek turquoise" is the most widely-accepted name for the stone with the light or white background and gold to black-gold matrix. However, this stone also goes by the name of "Sacred Buffalo" turquoise. While the two names are interchangeable, it is very important to note that other turquoise is sold under names that mimic these, even though these pieces are not the same as Dry Creek turquoise. In fact, many inferior stones have been sold to unwary customers who believe they are buying Dry Creek turquoise, only to find out that they have been duped by an unscrupulous dealer.

Many people sell what is known as "White Turquoise" or "White Buffalo" turquoise and market it as if it was Dry Creek turquoise. This is not correct, and sellers should be aware that "White Buffalo" turquoise comes from a completely different source in Tonopah, Nevada. It is actually a different stone than Dry Creek turquoise, although some buyers who do not know the difference have been fooled into paying high prices for what they believe is Dry Creek turquoise. 

How Can I Avoid Purchasing "Fake" Dry Creek Turquoise?

It is always best to deal with a reputable dealer like Mesa Verde Traders to avoid this type of confusion. Mesa Verde Traders offers you the assurance that your purchase is guaranteed to be genuine. First, we certify that all of our Dry Creek turquoise is "the real thing," and that it is made from stones taken from the Dry Creek mine in Nevada and not from a close substitute. Next, we guarantee that all of our Native American jewelry is made by real artisans using genuine jewelry-making techniques passed down for generations. When we sell Native American jewelry, we always supply a Certificate of Authenticity to show that a true artisan crafted the jewelry and that it is made from the proper materials, including Dry Creek turquoise.

How Is Dry Creek Turquoise Made Into Jewelry?

Dry Creek turquoise is used by Navajo silversmiths in Gallup, New Mexico, to fashion beautiful jewelry. Mesa Verde Traders now features these incredible and rare collectible pieces, with each item being a one-of-a kind creation from a Native American artisan made with Dry Creek turquoise.

This highly collectible stone is used in almost every type of jewelry, although necklaces and rings are the most popular choices. What Mesa Verde Traders has available at any given time will depend on supply, so if you see a piece you like, act quickly! We post photographs of each piece on our website so that you can browse our "jewelry box" and see what is available at any given time. If you do not see what you want, contact us immediately; we may have access to other pieces that could be the right fit for you.

What Can I Expect from My Dry Creek Turquoise Purchase?

Turquoise is a relatively soft stone with a hardness of about 6 on the Mohs scale. This means that it must be handled carefully, but it also means that the stone will take a deep, beautiful polish, unlike some harder stones. Dry Creek turquoise pieces have a beautiful luster and shine that make them a very sought-after commodity. Expect your Dry Creek turquoise to range in color from nearly white to a light blue, and to have a bold, deeply-patterned "matrix" or series of lines throughout the piece that range in color from gold to deep brown. Your turquoise will also be highly lustrous, having been polished to a bright shine. Be sure to have your pieces cleaned by a reputable jeweler who knows how to handle turquoise properly.

True Dry Creek turquoise is never treated with any chemicals that will change the color, although it is common for unscrupulous dealers to "dye" turquoise to make it more brilliant. At Mesa Verde Traders, we only deal with artisans who work with the stones in their purest form to guarantee you genuine and beautiful results in our jewelry. In addition, beware of buying any turquoise that has been "reconstituted" or "blocked." These words mean that small fragments of turquoise have been bonded with resin. Truly valuable turquoise jewelry is characterized by the use of natural stones, not by the encroachment of technology to "create" turquoise pieces. Mesa Verde Traders guarantees that all of our Dry Creek turquoise is genuine and each pieces comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity.



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